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16%

How much North Carolina's labor costs are below the national average, which helped the state achieve a third-place ranking in Forbes' annual list of Best States for Business for 2014, one spot higher than 2013. Utah and North Dakota were first and second.

Change Latest Previous Previous from last month month year year EMPLOYMENT Employed (000s) 4,335.4 4,341.0 4,317.2 0.4% Civilian labor force 4,645.7 4,655.9 4,676.7 (0.7) Manufacturing 447.3 445.3 441.7 1.3 Service 3,537.1 3,525.0 3,440.9 2.8 Government 709.7 712.4 709.9 (0.0) Unemployed 310.3 314.8 359.5 (13.7) Avg. manufacturing 43.9 43.6 42.2 4.0 workweek (hours) Avg. hourly production $16.65 $16.68 $16.60 0.3 wage Latest Previous Previous Change month month year from last year TAXABLE RETAIL SALES (1) ($000s) Alamance 160,162.9 164,811.6 141,394.8 13.3% Buncombe 351,370.6 341,859.1 314,219.0 11.8 Cabarrus 228,384.2 221,853.6 202,227.2 12.9 Catawba 154,559.0 150,517.2 145,357.8 6.3 Cumberland 297,200.3 287,615.9 282,825.4 5.1 Dare 212,391.4 220,158.5 197,192.9 7.7 Durham 436,160.7 452,324.1 428,880.8 1.7 Forsyth 362,277.0 360,129.2 336,960.2 7.5 Guilford 511,698.1 483,663.1 473,488.8 8.1 Iredell 165,681.8 152,124.0 148,557.8 11.5 Mecklenburg 1,476,360.1 1,449,948.0 1,282,153.7 15.1 New Hanover 329,698.5 335,966.7 291,622.8 13.1 Onslow 162,896.6 159,460.5 156,671.7 4.0 Pitt 168,875.8 152,942.4 156,414.3 8.0 Wake 1,075,786.9 1,045,043.9 965,729.6 11.4 N.C. STATE UNIVERSITY INDEX OF ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The index, a comparison of the state economy from month to month created by N.C. State economist Michael Walden, is calculated from the Economic Cycle Research Institute's Weekly Leading Index, North Carolina initial claims for unemployment benefits, North Carolina building permits, and average weekly work hours and earnings for Tar Heel manufacturing workers. Raw data, which is seasonally adjusted, comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau.

Latest Previous month month AIR PASSENGER BOARDINGS (2) Asheville 33,939 37,965 Charlotte * 1,744,324 1,928,643 Fayetteville 18,502 19,782 Greensboro 68,040 69,956 Greenville 4,868 5,335 Jacksonville 12,640 15,368 New Bern 10,907 12,531 Raleigh/Durham 384,148 422,424 Wilmington 34,848 35,509 ELECTRIC UTILITIES (3) Dominion Residential customers...

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